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Popeyes Is Bringing Back a Popular Chicken Sandwich With a Twist

It hopes this new item will "reignite" the Chicken Sandwich Wars.

The king of the chicken sandwich is betting on the return of a fan-favorite item to "reignite" the Chicken Sandwich Wars. The chain is officially re-releasing its Blackened Chicken Sandwich, as well as doing something it's never done before—unveiling the ingredients needed to make it at home.

The sandwich–which was available for a limited time last year—is made with a whole marinated chicken breast that is breading-free and coated with a blend of blackening spices. It is served on a brioche bun with crunchy pickles and your choice of house or spicy mayo, just like the traditional fan-favorite breaded chicken sandwich.

The Blackened Chicken Sandwich will start at $4.99 and Popeyes Rewards members with receive bonus points to get free regular fries on their next order when they try it through the app or the website. The breading-free sandwich has about 150 fewer calories than the traditional chicken sandwich.

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popeyes blackened chicken
Courtesy Popeyes

But Popeyes also has a little trick up its proverbial sleeve with this release: it's betting on people wanting to copy the item at home. Along with the sandwich, the company is also releasing the ingredients of the spice rub and daring fans—and competing restaurants—to imitate the sandwich.

If you search for just about any popular fast-food sandwich online you'll find dozens—if not hundreds—of copycat recipes. Popeyes is confident, however, that its technique will be better than yours and that the real deal can only be served up by its restaurants. The company is not releasing the ratios of the spices, but if you want to try your hand at it, they are: black pepper, cumin, red peppers, garlic, onion, paprika, white pepper, and salt.

Early buzz has already started around the sandwich as the chicken breasts were delivered to restaurants around the country pending the big news. However, the new chicken is getting mixed reviews from workers who just couldn't wait to try them and customers who spotted the sandwich on the menu before the official release.

"I love the seasoning on these but they always have the texture of dry cardboard," said one on Reddit. But another raved about it, writing, "I ordered the spicy blackened chicken sandwich two days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. It was so damn good I almost drove back and bought another."

Meaghan Cameron
Meaghan Cameron is Deputy Editor of Restaurants at Eat This, Not That! Read more about Meaghan